In an extraordinary move that nonetheless had to be made, voters rocketed Duke from No. 4 to No. 1 in the Associated Press poll this week, even though only one of the other three teams lost last week.
Previous No. 1 Kansas beat No. 10 Michigan State last week, and No. 3 Gonzaga won two games. No. 2 Kentucky, though, got humiliated by Duke, 118-84, in one of the most startling college basketball games I can remember. Kansas looked good. Duke looked like “how in the world is anybody going to guard these guys?”
It’s the first time since 1984 a preseason No. 1 team has dropped without losing a game, but this is not controversial. Duke got 48 out of 65 first-place votes. Kansas got 14, and the other three went to Virginia (2) and Tennessee (1). Kentucky, on the other hand, dropped eight spots to No. 10.
And I know it’s tempting to say only Duke could have gone from No. 4 to No. 1 without Nos. 1 or 3 even losing. But in this case, I don’t think that’s what’s going on here. If you saw that game, you know what you saw, and you’re prepared to see Duke at the top of this poll for the rest of the season.